OTW 2017 is just around the corner, and we are getting our travel plans in order and putting our conference schedules together. There are some really exciting Breakout Sessions we’ll be offering this year, and we asked our Breakout Session facilitators to share a little more about their workshops. Learn more at OTW2017.ORG.
Puppetry, Demystified! With Johanna Smith, Professor of Theatre Education, California State University San Bernardino
What is the “Big Question or Idea” you plan to explore at OTW? What conversation are you starting? How can we make puppetry less intimidating and use our strengths as TYA artists to make it an even more effective tool for storytelling?
Why is now the right time to engage participants in this topic? Puppetry is red hot right now on Broadway and beyond. It has been a tool of Children’s Theatre since the beginning of our field, yet some practitioners have not received training in the art form and are intimidated by it. Trust me, it’s sooooo easy to create incredible puppets with next to nothing. It will be a useful addition to the TYA artist’s toolbox.
How does your session tie into the OTW theme “Innovate/Activate”? I’ll be sharing new ensemble-based practices that will (hopefully) help directors and TYA artists get excited about using puppet objects onstage.
What are you most excited about attending at OTW (besides your session)? I haven’t been able to attend OTW for a very long time and I look forward to seeing old pals and making new ones. I could also use some inspiration and a reminder that we are the most innovative, passionate artists out there. The field of puppetry needs the storytelling expertise that abounds in TYA-USA!